Sajid Javid is a slight bookmakers’ favourite to replace Prime Minister Theresa May at the head of the Conservative Party following a week of turbulence in Westminster.
The MP for Bromsgrove has been heavily backed by political punters as the Conservative Leadership market attracted an upsurge of interest after a number of MPs openly called for a leadership election.
Mrs May’s position became increasingly fragile following her announcement of a draft Brexit deal on Wednesday. Although her cabinet backed the deal in private following a five-hour meeting, two ministers subsequently resigned, including Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary. Several Conservative MPs have also written letters to Graham Brady, the head of the 1922 Committee, asking for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, although it appears that the number of letters has not yet reached the threshold of 48 that would automatically trigger a leadership election.
But the dramatic events of the past week have seen significant changes in the political betting markets, with many bookmakers now making Home Secretary Sajid Javid the favourite to take over the party. The former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who has been near the top of the Conservative Leadership market for months, is marginally second favourite, with Michael Gove also earning some support from punters, and Dominic Raab is also prominent.
Unlike the last Conservative Leadership election, held in the wake of David Cameron’s resignation in June 2016, any new contest is likely to attract a large number of candidates, with outsiders such as Amber Rudd – who has returned to the Cabinet this week – and rising star Gavin Williamson likely to consider a run. Staunch Brexiteers such as William Rees-Mogg and David Davis – both available at double figures with most bookmakers – may also throw their hats into the ring.
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